Excerpt: ...I would hear the bumping of it as I walked to the house, and turn the knob to come upon her spinning by the twilight. She would have no English-made linen in that household. "If mine scratch your back, Richard," she would say, "you must grin and bear, and console yourself with your virtue." It was I saw to the flax, and learned from Ivie Rawlinson (who had come to us from Carvel Hall) the best manner to ripple and break and swingle it. And Mr. Swain, in imitation of the high example set by Mr. Bordley, had buildings put up for wheels and the looms, and in due time kept his own sheep. If man or woman, white or black, fell sick on the place, it was Patty herself who tended them. She knew the virtue of every herb in the big chest in the storeroom. And at table she presided over her father's guests with a womanliness that won her more admiration than mine. Now that the barrister was become a man of weight, the house was as crowded as ever was Carvel Hall. Carrolls and Pacas and Dulanys and Johnsons, and Lloyds and Bordleys and Brices and Scotts and Jennings and Ridouts, and Colonel Sharpe, who remained in the province, and many more families of prominence which I have not space to mention, all came to Gordon's Pride. Some of these, as their names proclaim, were of the King's side; but the bulk of Mr. Swain's company were stanch patriots, and toasted Miss Patty instead of his Majesty. By this I do not mean that they lacked loyalty, for it is a matter of note that our colony loved King George. I must not omit from the list above the name of my good friend, Captain Clapsaddle. Nor was there lack of younger company. Betty Tayloe, who plied me with questions concerning Dorothy and London, but especially about the dashing and handsome Lord Comyn; and the Dulany girls, and I know not how many others. Will Fotheringay, when he was home from college, and Archie Brice, and Francis Willard (whose father was now in the Assembly) and half a dozen more to court...
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No boyhood could have been happier than mine, and throughout it, ever present with me, were a shadow and a light. The shadow was my Uncle Grafton. I know not what strange intuition of the child made me think of him so constantly after that visit he paid us, but often I would wake from my sleep with his name upon my lips, and a dread at my heart. The light -- need I say? -- was Miss Dorothy Manners. Little Miss Dolly was often at the Hall after that happy week we spent together; and her home, Wilmot House, was scarce three miles across wood and field by our plantation roads. I was a stout little fellow enough, and before I was twelve I had learned to follow to hounds my grandfather's guests on my pony; and Mr. Lloyd and Mr. Carvel when they shot on the duck points. Aye, and what may surprise you, my dears, I was given a weak little toddy off the noggin at night, while the gentlemen stretched their limbs before the fire, or played at whist or loo. Mr. Carvel would have no milksop, so he said. But he early impressed upon me that moderation was the mark of a true man, even as excess was that of a weak one.
And so it was no wonder that I frequently found my way to Wilmot House alone. . . .
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Book Description Macmillan Pub Co, 1914. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 25256602